Revolution #199, April 18, 2010

I am not ashamed

The following is a poem written and performed by Jamilah Hoffman at the Creative Women Unite International Women's Day cultural event in Houston, March 8, 2010.

This poem is dedicated to Sakia Gunn, who at 15 was going home with a group of girlfriends when a couple of guys started to harass them. She told the guys to leave them alone, that they were lesbians and not interested. They got into a fight and Sakia was stabbed and killed. This poem is for her.

I Am Not Ashamed
My body is a battleground
A constant fight occurs between
What is true
And this system.
I wear self-inflicted scars
Like medals of honor
For I have survived the battle of mis-placed anger.
But it remains to be seen,
Who will win the war?

I linger in the mirror
Not in a shameless space of vanity
But rather out of defiance.
The audacity of believing I belong.
But I have to be careful,
You see,
Defiant women often make people uncomfortable,
Afraid, even.
When all I want to do is walk down the street with my head held high.
This has become a political statement:
I am not ashamed.

I am not ashamed to believe the world can be much better than what it is now
I am not ashamed to be a revolutionary
Color me a communist, I am not ashamed
I am not ashamed to live outside the boundaries of the now
And I’m not ashamed
To want to live in a world
Where little girls have the chance to grow up to be women.

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

What Humanity Needs
From Ike to Mao and Beyond